Horák, Slavomír: Dependent Independence of Central Asia. Why Central Asia Must Depend on External Forces?

In: Russia and Its Neighbours (Švec, L., ed.). Karolinum, Praha, 2007, s. 155-172.

(Summary)

 

The article is aimed at the dynamics of dependence of Central Asia on Russia. It maps the development of Russia’s approach towards Central Asia and growing dependency of the region in 19th century as well as the Russian/Soviet legacy in the region. Comparing these two historical periods one can conclude that Russia’s supremacy over the region became a incentive. The influence of Russia/USSR had necessary modernizing effect in economical, political as well as humanitarian spheres. However, the methods of such penetration were often very artificial and even brutal. This modernizing potential ran out after the communist system stagnation and culminated with the USSR dissolution.

However, withdrawal of Russia from Central Asia after 1991 did not mean the regress of Russian influence in the region. On the contrary, the Newly Independent States were involved in the dependency on Russia more than they wished. Despite growing, but steady regression of Russian position in Central Asia, Russia stay and will stay one of the main actors on this territory. Considering the cultural and linguistic situation in Central Asia, Russia still plays the role of cultural and economic mediator of any potential modernization.